The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (£620) by Colin Dexter – £620 at Keys.

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The signed 1977 copy of his third Inspector Morse novel, The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn, sold for £620.

Catalogues issued for that Norfolk sale and another held by PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) in San Francisco on June 27 both featured on their covers the very distinctive dust jacket of the second Morse novel, Last Seen Wearing of 1976.

Featuring the figure of a girl, or rather her clothes alone, hurrying past a terraced row of houses, it was used to most dramatic, enlarged effect on the US catalogue.

Neither saleroom expected the books to make big prices, and so it proved. The Keys example, a signed first Book Club edition, sold for £50 and the first US edition in the PBA sale took $225 (£175). However, a UK first offered by Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) in a June 19-20 sale did make £300.

Cole surprise


Counterpoint Murder by George and Margaret Cole – £450.

Rather more of a surprise was provided at Keys by a 1940 Crime Club first of Counterpoint Murder by George and Margaret Cole, a husband and wife team who between them, and taking turns at writing but always publishing under joint names, produced 28 crime novels in the years 1925-42.

Showing some loss to the jacket, this copy of one of their later books made what is probably a record £450.